Friday, October 31, 2014

How to Recycle Halloween Pumpkins for Wildlife

10/30/2014 // By Dani Tinker
One of my favorite parts of Halloween, is carving pumpkins. My evening walks through the neighborhood are even better with the bright orange pumpkins, highlighting the colors of autumn, and showing off creative designs.
After the trick-or-treaters clear away, and Halloween is officially over, don’t trash your pumpkins! There are several ways to recycle them with wildlife and your garden in mind. How do you reuse pumpkins in your yard?
Squirrel in a pumpkin by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Katherine Flickinger.
1. Compost Your Pumpkins
If you’ve carved a jack-o-lantern, it may already be decomposing. Pumpkins are 90% water, which means they easily and quickly break down. This makes them a great addition to your compost pile. Prevent unwanted pumpkin plants by removing the seeds first (set seeds aside for #3 and #5). If you don’t have a compost bin or pile, check your local government, nearby farms, or community gardens to see if they collect old pumpkins.
Pumpkins can make a great addition to compost bins or piles. Photo by Karl Steel.
2. Make a Snack-o-Lantern
This is one of the most creative ideas I’ve seen to recycle pumpkins. You can turn your jack-o-lantern into a snack-o-lantern for wildlife! It’s fairly easy to make, and the squirrels and birds will love it.
3. Leave Seeds for Wildlife
Large birds and small mammals will eat pumpkin seeds if you offer them in your yard. Collect seeds from your pumpkins, before composting them, and let the seeds dry. Please don’t add salt or seasoning. Place seeds on a flat surface, tray, shallow bowl, or mix in with existing bird seed in your garden.
Nuthatch eats pumpkin seeds by Kurt Bauschardt.
4. Cut it into Pieces for Animals
Many backyard animals will eat pieces of pumpkin flesh. You can cut it into pieces and leave it out. This porcupine doesn’t even need it cut into pieces!
5. Plant Pumpkin Seeds
The squash bee is one of many insects to pollinate pumpkin flowers. If you have room in your yard, you can save seeds for a harvest of pumpkins next year.
Bee pollinating a pumpkin flower by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Paul Gardner.
UPDATE: Please keep in mind this applies to non-painted pumpkins, as the toxins in paint can be harmful to wildlife. Also, keep pumpkins away from the house, ideally near trees. Add other helpful suggestions in the comments below!
Gene Dempsey, City Forester
Public Works Sustainability Division
Office - (954) 828-5785  Fax - (954) 828-4745

Friday Funny - Happy Halloween!


Stay safe and green Halloween tonight!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tree Thursday -- Your Brain on Nature: Forest Bathing and Reduced Stress

Studies show shinrin-yoku, also known as forest bathing or time spent in green spaces, can reduce the stress hormone cortisol and increase your immune defense system.
By Eva Selhub and Alan Logan
January 8, 2013
It's no surprise that fresh air is good for your health, but that doesn't always make it easier to get a balance of healthy immersion in nature. Your Brain on Nature (Wiley, 2012) makes a case for better, healthier, greener thinking and improved mental health through exposure to greenspaces and provides tips for how to apply the science of optimial brain health to everyday life. In this excerpt, authors Eva Selhub and Alan Logan discuss research linking shinrin-yoku (Japanese "forest bathing" or "forest therapy") to increased cerebral blood flow, immune defense and improved mental health. 
Shinrin-Yoku—Forest Bathing
It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit. —Robert Louis Stevenson 
Among the many reasons to preserve what is left of our ancient forests, the mental aspects stand tall. The notion that forests have a special place in the realm of public health, including an ability to refresh the weary, is not a new one. Medical doctors, including Franklin B. Hough, reported in early U.S. medical journals that forests have a “cheerful and tranquilizing influence which they exert upon the mind, more especially when worn down by mental labor.” Individuals report that forests are the perfect landscape to cultivate what are called transcendent experiences—these are unforgettable moments of extreme happiness, of attunement to that outside the self, and moments that are ultimately perceived as very important to the individual.
In 1982, the Forest Agency of the Japanese government premiered its shinrin-yoku plan. In Japanese shinrin means forest, and yoku, although it has several meanings, refers here to a “bathing, showering or basking in.” More broadly, it is defined as “taking in, in all of our senses, the forest atmosphere.” The program was established to encourage the populace to get out into nature, to literally bathe the mind and body in greenspace, and take advantage of public owned forest networks as a means of promoting health. Some 64 percent of Japan is occupied by forest, so there is ample opportunity to escape the megacities that dot its landscape.
Undoubtedly, the Japanese have had a centuries-old appreciation of the therapeutic value of nature—including its old-growth forests; however, the term shinrin-yoku is far from ancient. It began really as a marketing term, coined by Mr. Tomohide Akiyama in 1982 during his brief stint as director of the Japanese Forestry Agency. The initial shinrin-yoku plan of 30 years ago was based solely on the ingrained perception that spending time in nature, particularly on lush Japanese forest trails, would do the mind and body good. That changed in 1990 when Dr. Yoshifumi Miyazaki of Chiba University was trailed by film crew from the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) as he conducted a small study in the beautiful forests of Yakushima. It was a test of shinrin-yoku, and NHK wanted to be there. Yakushima was chosen because it is home to Japan’s most heralded forests. The area contains some of Japan’s most pristine forests, including those of select cedar trees that are over 1,000 years old. Miyazaki reported that a level of physical activity (40 minutes of walking) in the cedar forest equivalent to that done indoors in a laboratory was associated with improved mood and feelings of vigor. This in itself is hardly a revelation, but he backed up the subjective reports by the findings of lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in subjects after forest walks compared with those who took laboratory walks. It was the first hint that a walk in a forest might not be the same as a walk in a different environmental setting.
Since then, university and government researchers have collaborated on detailed investigations, including projects to evaluate physiological markers while subjects spend time in the forest. The research team from Chiba University, Center for Environment, Health and Field Services, has collected psychological and physiological data on some 500 adults who have engaged in shinrin-yoku, and a separate group from Kyoto has published research involving another 500 adults. These studies have confirmed that spending time within a forest setting can reduce psychological stress, depressive symptoms, and hostility, while at the same time improving sleep and increasing both vigor and a feeling of liveliness. These subjective changes match up nicely with objective results reported in nearly a dozen studies involving 24 forests—lower levels of cortisol and lower blood pressure and pulse rate. In addition, studies showed increased heart rate variability, which is a good thing because it means the circulatory system can to respond well to stress and can detect a dominance of the “calming” branch of the nervous system (the parasympathetic nervous system).

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday - Bat Week (just in time for Halloween!)

This week is National Bat Week!  See below for why we should save bats and go to for more information!
It’s a fact bats play a key role in maintaining the health of the environment. Healthier bats mean a healthier world.
They are the primary predator of nighttime insects. A single bat can eat up to 5,000 in a single night.
This means farmers can use fewer pesticides, which means safer food. And all that bug-eating saves the American agricultural industry about $23 billion a year.
Also, bats are great pollinators and seed dispersers. They help repopulate plants, maintain forests, grow fruits like bananas and are the only pollinators of agave. Tequila, anyone?
When you consider all this, there’s no question that bats are friends to humans. Sure, some of them may not be the cutest and cuddliest, but they are our friends nonetheless.
White-nose Syndrome is bat threat number one. It’s caused by a fungus and has killed more than 6 million bats to date.
Climate change–need we say more?
Loss of natural habitat. Like anything else, if you don’t have a place to live, it’s hard to survive.
Add it all up and conservationists around the globe are extremely concerned that bats may be headed for extinction.
Be a friend of the bats. If you like the planet and tequila and pesticide-free food, then get involved. Put up a bat house, plant bat-friendly gardens, donate to the cause. And be sure to like us on Facebook to find out more ways to help Save the Bats.
Our favorite bat facts
Bats are the only flying mammals! Flying squirrels only glide.
The order that bats are in is called “Chiroptera,” meaning hand-wing. The bat wing structure is very similar to your hand!
There are more than 1,200 different species of bats in the world, making up about a quarter of all mammal species.
The largest bat in the world is the Malayan Flying Fox. It weighs 2 pounds and has a 6-foot wingspan!
The smallest bat in the world is the Kitties hog-nosed bat, also known as a Bumblebee bat. It weighs as much as a dime and has a 6-inch wingspan.
Most bats live in large groups. They often live in dead trees, caves, bat houses, human buildings, rock crevices, and the underside of bridges.
One insect-eating bat consumes about 2,000 to 6,000 insects each night.
There are three species of vampire bats. They all live in southern Mexico, Central America, and South America and drink blood from cows, goats, pigs, and chickens. But don’t worry about the animals—Vampire bats only drink one tablespoon of blood each night.
Some species of bats have been detected flying more than 50 miles per hour. That is almost as fast as you drive on the highway!
Bats live a very long time. Most bats live between 10 and 20 years.
Bats cannot stand upright because they have very small pelvic girdles. They hang upside down nearly all the time, including when they are eating, drinking and socializing.
Bats usually have one baby once a year. Bat babies typically weigh about 25% of an adult at birth. If humans were to have babies that big, newborn humans would be the size of a toddler!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Eco-Friendly Apartment Living Tips – How To Go Green in an Apartment

April 17, 2014 by Christine T
Most people think it's much easier to go green and start living Eco-friendly when you have your own place. You probably have room to garden, compost and a place for recyclables. You can alter things such as the kind of paint you use and the appliances you have. When you live in an apartment, many things can't be changed so you may feel like there isn't much you can do. Living in an apartment does not have to mean giving up a green lifestyle, though!
Eco-Friendly Apartment Living Tips
Use your balcony or patio to its fullest extent. You can grow many herbs and vegetables in pots. You don't actually have to dig up any ground to be a little bit sustainable. While you may not get enough to can to hold you over the entire winter, you will probably get many uses out of some potted vegetables and herbs to make it worthwhile. Just think; if you grow enough for just a few meals, it is less you are buying and just a little better for the environment. Going green is not an all or nothing thing. Every little bit counts.
Use your machines wisely. While you may have no control over which machines are in your apartment and if they are energy efficient, you do have control over how you use them. Don't run the dishwasher if it is not full. The same goes for the washer and dryer. Wear clothing more than once before you wash it to create less loads. Make your own detergents that are natural.
Clean the green way. It doesn't matter where you live. You can use green cleaning products like baking soda and vinegar no matter what. You don't have to live in a house in order to clean with them. Here are some eco-friendly cleaning tips.
Recycle what you can. Ask your complex if they would be OK with starting a recycling program. If they say no, there is no reason you can't make arrangements on your own for your recyclables to be taken to the proper places. Check in your community for drop off points and make trips there with your neighbors to make it happen if need be.
Find ways to re-use what you can.  Just because your storage space may be limited in an apartment doesn't mean you can't save things to be re-used. For instance, rather than buying plastic food storage containers, use the ones that your food comes in. Here are 6 storage ideas using repurposed items.
Be smart with heat and cold. You can weatherize even if you live in an apartment. Simple things like covering your windows in plastic in the winter and using fans to help distribute cold air in the summer can be done no matter when you live. Turn your thermostat down at night in chilly weather and open the windows at night in the summer to allow cooler air in can all be great ways to use less energy.
More Ways to save on Utilities:
Get things fixed that need to be to avoid water waste. If you have leaky pipes, or a running toilet, get them fixed. When you rent, it is your landlord's responsibility to pay to keep these things in good order so there is no reason not to ask them to do it. Also, you can install a shower head that is low flow with no special skills. Just keep the old one to re-install when you move out.
Pick a good location. When you are looking for a new apartment, pick one that is not only a good price for your budget, but also a good location. Make sure it is close to stores and other essential businesses so you can walk to them instead of driving.
Get creative. Allow things to air dry on your shower or balcony. Make a mini compost box that fits under your sink. Install low watt CFL light bulbs in the light fixtures. There really is a lot you can do to go green when living in an apartment.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday -- Nuts for Wildlife

When we think of autumn, the first image that comes to mind is colorful leaves falling from the trees. Leaves, however, aren’t the only thing falling in the fall. This is the season of the nut as well, and many species of wildlife rely on nuts for survival.
Gambel oak acorn. Photo by Bryant Olsen via Flickr Creative Commons.
What are Nuts?
Nuts are produced exclusively by deciduous trees and shrubs.  Peanuts are not true nuts, they are legumes that grow underground, and pine nuts are technically edible seeds. The botanical term for nuts is “hard mast,” as opposed to “soft mast” like berries and other fruit.  Just like soft mast, nuts are formed when the blooms of trees and shrubs are fertilized by wind or by pollinating animals.
Nuts are high in carbohydrates, protein and fat, and also contain the seed of the plant. The carbs, protein and fat lure hungry wildlife in fall looking to fatten up for migration, for hibernation, or to build up a reserve for the oncoming winter. Animals consume the nut and then plant the seed in their droppings or by caching nuts and forgetting about them, allowing the seeds to germinate and form new plants.
Acorn woodpeckers stash nuts for later use. Photo by Don DeBold via Flickr Creative Commons.
Wildlife and Nuts
A wide variety of wildlife feed on nuts in the fall.  Squirrels are perhaps the most obvious, but other rodents such as chipmunks and the many species of native woodland mice feed on nuts. Even large mammals such as deer and black bear rely heavily on nuts in the fall.  Many species of birds also feed on nuts, including jays, woodpeckers, band-tailed pigeons, wild turkeys, ruffed grouse and wood ducks.
There are several native nut-producing woody plants in North America. They include the many species of oaks and hickories, as well as American beech, black walnut, chinquapin, butternut, hazelnut, and pecan. (The American chestnut was once the dominant nut-producing tree over the eastern part of the country, but has disappeared in the last century due to an exotic chestnut blight.)  Pine nuts are also highly prized by wildlife as a food source, even though they are not true nuts.
Stellar’s Jay eating a nut (in this case an almond from a feeder). Photo by Ingrid Taylar via Flickr Creative Commons.
Like all native plants, native nut-producing trees are adapted to local soil, rainfall and temperature conditions, and have natural defenses against insects and disease.  As mentioned in the many ways above, native wildlife rely on these trees as an essential part of their native habitat.
Collecting Nuts for Wildlife
September through early November is the best time to collect nuts.  You can germinate them for planting in your garden and throughout your community, or even to give as gifts.
You can also collect seeds to help with local conservation efforts. Many state forestry services have nurseries to grow native trees for use in reforestation and stream bank restoration. They often partner with local nonprofits and watershed groups in nut collecting drives each fall. In addition to the benefit to wildlife, demand for the planting of native hardwood trees has increased to minimize erosion and to restore urban tree canopies to help keep our cities and towns cool.  Trees on river banks can absorb pollutants and prevent them from getting into the watershed.
Check with your state department of natural resources and forestry, local conservancy or watershed groups to locate nut collection drives.  You–along with your community group, scouts, students or faith groups–can play a role in making sure there are plenty of nuts for wildlife!
How to Collect Nuts
  • Pick a spot to collect. This could be your neighborhood, your local park, a wilderness area, or even along roadside. Anywhere nut-producing trees grow is a good spot.
  • Collect nuts that have fallen to the ground to ensure ripeness. Avoid nuts that look damaged or moldy. You can also shake the branches to cause ripe nuts to fall. A long stick can help you reach higher.
  • Bring a field guide to help you identify the tree or shrub species from which you are collecting.
  • Keep each species’ nuts separate. While humans enjoy a good nut mix, it’ll make it harder to know what you’ve collected if they’re all together. This is especially important if you’re collecting for your state forestry department.
  • Collect your nuts in a sturdy burlap bag to allow them to breathe and prevent mold. Depending on the species, for long term storage you might need to switch to a plastic bag filled with damp sand or vermiculite or a moist paper towel, which will keep the nuts from drying out. Nuts that dry out during long storage won’t germinate.
  • Label each bag with species, location collected and date of collection.
  • Different species have different requirements for germination and planting. Some will need to be refrigerated for a few months to simulate winter conditions before they will germinate. Do web research on the right germination procedure for the species you’ve collected. Here’s a good resource for oaks, one for walnuts, one for pecans, and a good general list of instructions for a variety of nut-producing trees.
  • Don’t be greedy.  Leave some nuts for wildlife.
A chipmunk collects nuts. Photo by Peggy Hanna.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

No Quick Fixes for Sustainable Communities

Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 3:13 pm | Updated: 4:50 pm, Wed Oct 15, 2014.
By Andrea Hauser, Associate Editor
A New Approach to City Streets
Pedestrian and bicycle traffic creates safer, more vibrant city streets.
Sustainability is a popular catchphrase in cities across the country, but implementing the change needed to become more sustainable communities is challenging work with few quick fixes.
That was a recurring message at the 2014 Growing Sustainable Communities Conference, held Oct. 7-8 in Dubuque, Iowa. The conference drew approximately 400 attendees from 100 different cities in 21 states.
Creating a restoration economy was the focus of author and consultant Storm Cunningham’s presentation, Revitalizing Places in Broken Times.
For much of human history, Cunningham said, we have been in an adaptive conquest mode, or adapting the environment to our needs. That conquest has brought us to the point that scientists call the Anthropocene Period, where human impact on earth dominates everything. With no corners of the Earth left to conquer and adapt, and no new resources to draw from, adaptive conquest is not sustainable for humans’ long-term success – and survival – on the planet.
Adaptive renewal is a better option, Cunningham said, because it means we’re “adapting to our adaptations … and the good news about this is you can’t do too much adaptive renewal.”
While some constituents might react negatively to the word “sustainability,” Cunningham said communities should reframe the issue as an opportunity to build or restore a part of the community together. This can also help them identify and engage the “fixers,” or community members who can help make the projects happen.
“Focus on activities that bring people together naturally,” he said. “People love making things better, they love bringing dead things back to life.”
Communities also should be sure to find projects that work best for them, not necessarily copying a project from another city or town.
Creating local impact by changing the way citizens travel was the focus of Gil Penalosa’s presentation.
If cities want to improve their sustainability, transportation is a great place to start, since streets make up 70-90 percent of many communities’ public space. How those streets are used, though, says a lot about the individual community’s priorities, he added.
Citing Amsterdam and its biking and pedestrian culture, Penalosa gave one example of how the city prioritizes its traffic after a snowstorm – sidewalks are cleared first, bicycle lanes second and streets last.
“Then everybody walks, bikes and it makes a lot of sense,” he said.
And as urban populations continue to increase, efficient and clean transportation will be a top priority, Penalosa said, adding “it’s not about engineering or science, it’s about people, how do we want to live? We need to recreate the cities.”
Safety is a top priority for pedestrians and bicyclists, so reducing the speed limit and creating designated bike paths, and a biking network throughout the community, are key steps in changing how people travel.
Creating public spaces around those transportation networks also is a key component, because it creates a destination within the community and makes the space more safe with shops, lighting and other people, Penalosa said, adding “we need to dignify the pedestrian. We need to dignify the cyclist.”
“Citizens pay us every other week to make things better, not to find 20 different reasons why we can’t,” he added. “We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking when we created them, we’ve got to be bold.”
Cities that focus their building around people and creating a better quality of life will be the most economically competitive and able to retain the best citizens, Penalosa said, adding that “general interest must prevail over the particular. If you want change to be unanimous, you have to water down change so much it’s not change anymore.”

Monday, October 20, 2014

Freedom in 704 Square Feet

January 22, 2014
There are more photos of this home at house slideshow.
Early in their marriage, Lily Copenagle and Jamie Kennel began crafting a plan for living, scribbling house designs and lists of must-haves on notepads and paper napkins.
The idea was simple. They would create a home that was big enough for the two of them, but small enough so that it would be easy to maintain, environmentally responsible and inexpensive to operate. And that would allow them to free up their time and funds for intellectual and recreational pursuits. Own less, live more: It sounds like a platitude, but it became their strategy.
“We never liked furnishing or cleaning or taking care of things we really didn’t need,” said Ms. Copenagle, 40, who has degrees in physics and cell biology and is associate dean of students at Reed College in Portland, Ore., where her job involves helping students stay, and succeed, in college.
As her husband said, “There’s so much more personal freedom in going smaller.”
Mr. Kennel, 38, is the director of a Portland paramedics program who plans to pursue a doctorate in education or the behavioral sciences, and is particularly interested in how small teams of emergency medical technicians and others work together in a crisis, often in tight quarters. Ms. Copenagle said, “Jamie sees people on the worst day of their life, medically, and I see them at their toughest academic moment.”
The couple married eight years ago, after they had been dating for a year, in a characteristically small ceremony — it was just the two of them — while on vacation in Nicaragua. Once they returned to Portland, they gave a party so friends and family wouldn’t disown them. And soon after, they began making lists.
Mr. Kennel, who is 6-foot-1, wanted a place that did not have the cramped rooms and low-slung doorways of the older houses they had been living in, so he wouldn’t have to remember to duck his head whenever he walked through a door.
Ms. Copenagle wanted a space that was small enough to vacuum completely in five minutes, within cord’s reach of a single outlet, so there wouldn’t have to be any unplugging and replugging of the vacuum cleaner.
And stairs were out of the question because Sirena, one of their beloved rescue dogs, is 14 and fragile; they also realized that as young and agile as they are now, they might be in a similar situation one day.
After they had settled on a neighborhood in the northern part of the city, they bought a decrepit 1950s house on a deep lot for $190,000 and tore it down, being careful to donate or repurpose anything reusable. What they threw away filled just one Dumpster.
There are more photos of this home at house slideshow.
Their neighbors were concerned about what might rise in place of the old home: a McMansion, multiple townhouses or some other hideous anomaly among the area’s modest bungalows. No one imagined that the couple would put up a tidy little house of barely more than 700 square feet — 704, to be exact — that had a vaulted green roof planted with native flora and a friendly 1960s vibe.
“My mother likes to joke that we took a perfectly good two-bedroom house and put up a room,” Ms. Copenagle said.
Mr. Kennel’s family could not fathom it either, he said: “It doesn’t fit their societal picture of success, generally. We’re doing well, so why aren’t we demonstrating that through our house?”
Even the architects they interviewed had balked at the idea, Ms. Copenagle said. “They kept telling us, ‘You really don’t want this.’ ”
After all, while living small has its share of vocal advocates, it is still underrepresented in the American housing market. In 2012, the average home built in the United States was roughly 2,500 square feet.
But this wasn’t about status or money.
“We can certainly afford a bigger place with a higher price tag,” Ms. Copenagle said. “We just don’t want it.”
So they persevered, commissioning blueprints for a design they came up with themselves, filing for permits and hiring a general contractor. Eventually, though, “it dawned on us that we were on site all the time,” Ms. Copenagle said. “And our general contractor was never here.”
Once the framing was complete, they decided to get rid of the contractor and finish most of the work themselves. It was another way to save money — and besides, “we enjoyed doing the construction work,” Ms. Copenagle said.
In all, the house, which was completed in 2012, cost about $135,000 to build, including materials and labor. (Their own labor, which isn’t part of that figure, they valued at $50,000.) Next time, they said, they will forgo general contractors, architects and real estate agents, which added another $18,000 at the outset.
Those costs were offset by grants of roughly $9,000 that the city awarded them for the green roof, and they get a break on their water bill for managing and reusing storm water with permeable pavers, a rain garden and a 550-gallon rain barrel.
The landscaping also softens the industrial feeling of the exterior and entices passers-by to stop and ring the doorbell, asking questions or offering opinions. The residents do not seem to mind. They are delighted with the way the indoor and outdoor spaces flow together, creating the impression of a more expansive home. And they are proud of their house’s performance in the energy-savings department.
None of this has gone unnoticed by the neighbors. Kim Conrow, 65, who lives next door, marveled: “On weekends, they actually go places and do things. They’re not tied to the projects most of us are tied to. I’m so charmed by the simplicity of it.”
Ms. Conrow admitted, however, that she would never be able to share a closet with her husband the way her neighbors do.
Still, the benefits of that arrangement speak for themselves. In nine months, the mortgage will be paid in full, which will leave Ms. Copenagle and Mr. Kennel with monthly costs of roughly $370 for property taxes, utilities, municipal services and insurance.
That’s good, because they will soon have to pay tuition for Mr. Kennel’s next degree. And Ms. Copenagle has bought a sleeker kayak so she can keep up with her husband as he paddles his stand-up board on the local rivers. Recently, they also bought 20 acres in northeastern Washington, completely off the grid, with incredible views of the Cascade Mountains.
The scribbling on napkins has begun again. This time, the goal is 400 square feet.
Correction: January 30, 2014
An article last Thursday about a couple’s 704-square-foot home referred incorrectly to the organisms found on the roof. They are plants, which makes them flora, not fauna.
Read more at Original Article